We caught up with fundraiser Gabriel Cooper who is taking part in a sponsored leg wax and head shave for Alopecia UK. Gabriel’s young daughter Florence has Alopecia Totalis and is the inspiration for his fundraising.

Tell us a little about your family’s journey with alopecia… 

Well, our beautiful little Florence started to lose what thin hair she had before her first birthday last Summer.  We did not think much of that as my fiancé Jess and I knew that it was normal.  Months passed and Flo did not grow any more hair so in January of this year we went to the hospital just to get her checked.  In February we were told that she has Alopecia Totalis.

What have you found has helped you as a family? 

We have been helped enormously by the unfiltered support and kind words from friends and family.  Our Alopecia Ca meetings for parents (on Zoom), organised by Alopecia UK, are so important to us and help to set us up for the future, and we can't wait to meet other families face to face (when we can). 

Why did you decide to fundraise for Alopecia UK?

Given what little knowledge we have, I wanted to raise money for Alopecia UK so more can be done to fund research into Alopecia. And I wanted to show Florence in years to come that her daddy will do anything to help her and at this stage, when she is just noticing and understanding herself, shaving my hair and waxing my legs seems the best thing I can do. I know I will do more fundraising events in the future for the charity.

You have already raised over £1,000 for Alopecia UK, how do you feel about this?

I feel very humble.  I have friends in USA that have donated along with my amazing neighbours, work colleagues and even strangers. I could not be more grateful and thankful. Not only are we getting word out about the charity and alopecia itself, but we are also showing Florence in years to come that she is is loved no matter her appearance.

How are you feeling about the upcoming headshave and leg wax? Any nerves?

Er, yes! Especially the waxing! At work, people have told me I will need a bucket just for me as well the donations! Thanks guys! I need to invest in ear muffs for Florence as she does not need to hear my choice in words as it's happening! Only joking, I can't wait!

What advice would you give to any other parents who have a young child with alopecia?

Listen to them. Get down to their level and listen to what they say. More importantly do not treat your child or anyone else any differently.  We are all alive on Earth the same time right now, what is the point making this world any harder for anyone else. 

A HUGE thank you to Gabriel for fundraising for Alopecia UK. We still have a way to go before we are back to pre-pandemic levels of fundraising but with the help of individuals like Gabriel, we hope to get there!

You can leave a donation on Gabriel's page here